A "strong demand for NSW coal" has driven mining jobs up with almost 1000 extra positions across the state in the past financial year, according to NSW Mining.
The latest figures published by the NSW Minerals Council on Wednesday showed the number of mining jobs in the Hunter increased by about 350 in 2018/19 compared with the previous year, to a total of 13,300 positions.
The data, collected by industry body Coal Services, showed that the Hunter made up almost 60 per cent of the 22,300 mining jobs in NSW.
It was the state's second largest increase, behind the Illawarra where about 500 positions were added to the mix to bring that region's total to 2934.
But the Hunter's mining jobs growth was slower in the 2018/19 financial year than Coal Service's previous set of annual figures indicated for the 12 months to December, 2017, which showed more than 1000 extra jobs in the region.
NSW Minerals Council CEO Stephen Galilee said on Wednesday "strong demand" for coal accounted for the increase in jobs in the Hunter and Illawarra.
"Strong demand will support existing and new jobs, especially if new projects are approved," he said.
Opposition spokesperson for natural resources Paul Scully said the jobs boost was important for regional and rural communities that were going through drought.
"These are high-paying jobs and extremely important to many regional and rural communities," he said.
"Mining workers, their families and those in related businesses in the Hunter, the Illawarra, Western NSW and New England region have played, and will continue to play, a vital role in the economy, providing jobs and generating income from exports."
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